When you try to help someone who doesn’t want help

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1236174_10151558384936990_620869118_nSometimes it feels like Alzheimer’s is contagious

The person diagnosed is changing

But so are the people effected by his decline

I not only wonder where he is going

I feel like I don’t even remember who I am anymore

My brain is intact

Yet the amount of energy and anguish

The stress and the uncertainty

The lack of family unity (not with our own three olive shoots, praise the LORD!) at a time when you should be able to rely on each other the most

It’s like we’ve been bitten by a Russell’s viperrusselsshoejpg

Which incidentally, is a very bad thing.

I find it hard to concentrate on much else

Alzheimer’s

Dementia

Destruction

Anxiety

photo copyWhat was I doing before this?

I was reading a book for pleasure

And now I’m afraid to even try to pick it back up

Because it’s another reminder of what life used to be

I cannot even find the tears

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Today I ate two donuts, don’t judge – a daughter-in-law’s journey

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Take that Alzheimer's!

Take that Alzheimer’s!

Before 9 am,

I had an argument with my husband

I had an argument with my freckle-face, orange haired olive shoot

Contacted the 24 hour help/crisis line at the Alzheimer’s Association, again

I stressed about an impending, almost certain family conflict regarding care management of our loved one with a brain disease

I learned my ministry-minded middle’s bike had been stolen in Chicago

And I had not one but TWO donuts

A Boston creme and a marble chocolate/vanilla swirl one

You got a problem with that?

I didn’t think so.

Then I called my mom who listened without judgment

And I texted a friend who met me for lunch

And biked nearly 12 miles

While sweating

And talking to Jesus

Because I’m talented like that

Today's truism. This is the note attached to the container of cookies. I'm only showing the note NOT the cookies!

Today’s truism. This is the note attached to the container of cookies. I’m only showing the note NOT the cookies!

My friend greeted me with warm hugs, a pretty smile

And a container full of fresh, home- made cookies

Which are stowed away in the freezer

In an undisclosed location

I felt slightly normal

Then I cleaned up around the house

Began marinating the ginger/lime chicken

Patched things up between Ike and me

And the Hubs and me

Continued reading Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s too.

Tonight I just want to feel the Hub’s arms around me

And enjoy the refreshing circulation of our new air conditioner

Maybe go for another bike ride

I’d also like to laugh

And kind of marvel at the way the Lord got us through another day

And probably eat a cookie too

Shhhhh…

Briefly observing the world with Alzheimer’s eyes – a daughter-in-law’s journey

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What do you see when you look at this picture?

What do you see when you look at this picture?

“GAW! That was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen!” exclaims my passenger

It was my first time being the driver.

We were running errands and making small talk

Overall, I’d say the time together was nearly delightful

But deep inside me, I was sweating

Try to act nonchalant and easy-going

(Two things I’m not really known for)

So when he exclaimed about the things he saw on the street

I asked him in a very comfortable fashion,

“What did you see?”

And that’s when he says,

“I just saw a house without a roof, smoke coming out of it on top of a grave.”

I gulp…

It’s August

In North Carolina

There are no Halloween decorations up yet

And there is no house without a roof with smoke coming out of it

Over a grave

My heart broke

My pulse quickened

La-dee da, dee da dee da

“Don’t freak out,” I say to myself and we go merrily along the way.

Since Friday, my mind has turned like a whole organic, antibiotic-free chicken on a rotisserie

So today I drive back to that stretch of road

And I take a walk with my camera

W7J9L7Fdbld6DBBp_gomz-GJi-iP196ZexHRe57w9EcI try to look with brain-diseased eyes

This might sound bothersome but I have to figure this out

Then I spot two structures on the street that might fit his description

I know what he saw!

And I get it

With brain-diseased eyes, these buildings look as if they don’t have roofs

I imagine this being a very scary sight.

I imagine this being a very scary sight.

The trees might look like smoke

So could the clouds billowing in the sky

And the grave,

XOhNO0O45NoWuqL7frli7PETNf0fythdsQ_g1W-gkX8

I surmise it’s the office building sign

Strangely, I feel better

Because for a fleeting moment

I have entered his world and a piece of this horrid puzzle fits

I drive away and make a mental note

Scared…fearful…thankful…sad.

Question: Have you ever tried to unlock a brain mystery like this out before? I’d love to know!

Rhymes with “witch” – a daughter-in-law’s journey

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A tender-hearted olive shoot and grandson

A tender-hearted olive shoot and grandson

Under his breath, he muttered the word that rhymes with witch but starts with a “B.”

Only one person heard it

My youngest son

We were going to a wedding in Indiana

I was in the passenger seat, clueless, in a celebration dress

Quite honestly, I was being silly

It had been a stressful day.

But after the nuptials, on the way back to the hotel,

My youngest olive shoot says he’s in massive pain

Really sick, violently ill

We go to urgent care because Ike’s abdomen is cramping

And that’s when I learn the burden he had been carrying

Of course he felt sick to his stomach!

I mean what do you say or do when your grandpa calls your mom a cuss word and you’re the only one who hears it???

That incident happened three years ago and I’d be lying if I told you this didn’t create a rift between him (not my son, of course!) and me. I knew we couldn’t confront him about disrespecting me and putting our teenage son in a very awkward position. So we have sucked it up.

But I have kept my distance not to be hurt again. Plus I haven’t wanted my sons to feel that kind of slicing pain.

"Heavenly Father, sustain us all during this time of great suffering."

“Heavenly Father, sustain us all during this time of great suffering.”

But now here we are

The man has a brain disease

And he needs me.

So does my husband.

I can only do this because of Jesus.

Left to my own selfish abilities, I would have given up. I bruise easily.

But through Christ and with some distance and education behind me, I think that moment was just another sign that there has been a growing problem.

And that man who called me the word that rhymes with witch but starts with the letter “B.”

Guess what I’m calling him now more than I ever have done in my over 25 years of marriage?

I’m calling him

Dad ❤